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Eurozone Private Sector Expands More Than Estimated

The euro area private sector expanded slightly more than initially estimated in October but remained close to stagnation, final data from IHS Markit showed Wednesday.

The final composite output index rose to 50.6 in October from 50.1 in September. The score was above the flash estimate of 50.2.

Nonetheless, the survey signaled that the growth rate was amongst the weakest seen in the past six-and-a-half years and showed divergence between the manufacturing and service sectors.

The services Purchasing Managers' Index improved to 52.2 in October from 51.6 a month ago and exceeded the flash 51.8.

While the October PMI is consistent with quarterly GDP rising by 0.1 percent, the forward looking data points to a possible decline in economic output in the fourth quarter, Chris Williamson, chief business economist at IHS Markit said.

Germany remained the only country inside the contraction territory in October. The downturn in output remained centered on the manufacturing sector. The final composite output index came in at 48.9 versus 48.5 in September and the flash 48.6.

Meanwhile, the services PMI rose to 51.6 from 51.4 in September. The flash reading was 51.2. However, the latest pace of growth was the weakest since the current upturn began in 2013.

France was the top-performing nation in October as manufacturers posted a return to growth in production and service providers reported faster rise in output.

The final composite PMI advanced to 52.6 as initially estimated in October. The services PMI climbed to 52.9 from 51.1 in September. The flash score was 52.9.

Elsewhere, Italy registered marginal gain in private sector output compared to September. The composite PMI rose unexpectedly to a 3-month high of 50.8 from 50.6. The reading was forecast to drop to 50.2.

The service sector growth accelerated at the fastest pace since March on new orders. The corresponding PMI climbed to 52.2 from 51.4 in September. Economists had forecast the reading to fall to 51.0.

Meanwhile, Spain logged its weakest rise in activity for nearly six years. The composite output index came in at 51.2 in October versus 51.7 in September.

The services PMI fell to 52.7 in October from 53.3 in September. Although the sector expanded for the six years, the pace of growth was the weakest since September 2018.

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